1 Submerging 6:59
2 Close Beneath the Surface 10:35
3 Cosmic Jellyfish 1:51
4 Green Depth 2:55
5 Hydra 7:21
6 Ashram 5:36
7 Totem Poles 16:45
8 The Keeper of Time 3:00
9 Quicksilver Sea 9:25
10 Traces of the Past 10:30
Doombient.Music SP002 (CD/CD-r 74:59) ******
(Dark ambient/rhythms EM)
Here's a classic! An immortal of Berlin School EM style which was first released in 1998, “Traces of the Past” is fast became an out of print work which was sold at a high price on eBay. Having got the rights on his works, Stephen Parsick has remastered and produced it via his own label Dombient. Music, giving so the title of “Traces of the Past-Redux”. To several connoisseurs, this is the ultimate work of Parsick and it's even considered as being superior to the first two albums of ; Nodular and Frozen Radios. To me, it became an inescapable album which visits the tracks of a grand musical past when the analog escapades of Schulze cross swords with the modernity of Jarre and Software, while being inspired by effluences more livened up of Manuel Göttching. An electronic mishmash which finds all its freshness and its nobility further to an excellent remastering.
A cosmic wind opens the first breaths of “Traces of the Past”. "Submerging" is a slow movement which floats and progresses on the wings of synth pads weaved into waltzing and harmonious reverberations. Eclectic tones drift in an oblivion enlightened by sound particles and Mellotron flutes which rock themselves on the soft astral striations of a deep ambient mood. Lost guitar riffs are drawing the furrow of a heavy sequencer and of its spiraled keys which bursts on "Close Beneath the Surface". This is a heavy track where the synth and the guitar are tearing the galactic opacity by solos and chords sometimes shrill or jerky on a steady rhythm which grows and fattens its loudness near some suave Mellotron orchestrations. Pompous and symphonic, this track is of an incredible heaviness and shows that EM can be easily compare with solid rock prog fusion. After another strong intro, "Cosmic Jellyfish" and "Green Depth" plunge us back into the dark and melancholic waves of ambient and floating EM. Supple and soft, the Mellotron adopts the whims and the shapes of a fluid orchestration tinted with a fluty harmony which will float up until the more rhythmical lines of "Hydra". This is a nice track with a moderate and constant flow which recalls the great moments of Software on ElectronicUniverse. "Ashram" for Ashra? Well, we can't think otherwise with a more techno rhythm feed by nice spiral riffs coming in loops from a guitar which sounds so much as Manuel Göttsching's and of a synth which wraps the beat and sucks up all the energy of a very creative six-strings. One would believe to hear great tribal rock with chords of an Arabic world plunged in a full techno mode culture. It's another great track quite as the strange "Totem Poles", an electronic ode which seems to be inspired by Klaus Schulze's Totem where the synth twists and spirals are waddling over abstract Tablas percussions, reflecting so a sound arc with sclerosed prisms. The beat is fuzzy and zigzags with a surprising fluidity on bass sequences accompanied by a synth to acid and nasal loops while being strangely harmonious. All along the 17 minutes we are seized by this strange solar incantation which seems to emerge from the cultures of the Maya people. It's an epic track which changes the musical orientation of “Traces of the Past”. "The Keeper of Time" is a short Mellotron ode. Compact and dense, it travels on a floating stillness such as a cosmic shuttle following the curve of the stars. Another very Schulzian track "Quicksilver Sea" is of an ambiospherical tranquillity with orchestral undulations which harmonizes to the soft harmonies from Cosmic Hoffmann's cosmic guitar. Bathing in the same vaporous moods, the title-track ends on a spectral note where the celestial winds are crossing a superbly soft Mellotron with choirs haunted by a melancholic sadness.
Like a musical story book, “Traces of the Past-Redux” is a remarkable musical epic. Stephen Parsick, flanked by the brilliant Klaus Hoffman-Hoock, offers a brilliant work of a refinement which has an equal only the passion of a historian for his art. This is great EM whom every fan of the genre has to possess.
Sylvain Lupari (August 13th, 2007 and translated on July 9th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: